This is important. Please read this! Last Sunday, I had the chance to preach about Jesus being the narrow door to heaven. Jesus is our Savior. Jesus is the one who loved and died and rose for us. Jesus is the one who has taken away all of our sins and prepared a special place for us in heaven. There is no one like Jesus. Jesus is the way to heaven. He says so! “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Everyone who believes in Jesus will be saved. I hope you believe that! That’s the heart of the Bible’s message: “These words are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). Jesus is the way—the narrow door—to heaven.
The devil hates that message, because the devil hates you and wants you to suffer in hell with him. The devil’s greatest goal isn’t to get you to sin. His goal is to convince you that Jesus isn’t your Savior. He knows that whoever does not believe will be condemned. The last thing the devil wants is for people—especially for you!—to believe that Jesus is the way to heaven. Unfortunately, the devil is having a ton of success in America. In fact, the devil is having a ton of success among people called “Lutherans.”
At its recent Churchwide Assembly, the largest “Lutheran” denomination—the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)—officially approved a new “inter-faith” policy that says there are limits to knowing the way to God and denies that Jesus is the only way to heaven. Those “Christians” are adamant that we can’t know the way to heaven. I hope that shocks you! Can you see the devil at work?
As that diabolical policy was about to be approved, one brave delegate at the convention came to the microphone. He asked that the statement about not knowing the way to God be removed from the policy, because we have a clear statement from Jesus. He quoted Jesus’ words in John 14:6: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” We do know the way. Jesus is the way!
Immediately, however, another pastor stood up and rebuked him. She said it was embarrassing for that man to suggest that Jesus was the only way to salvation, especially in front of the non-Christian guests at the convention. Everyone cheered! Without further discussion, delegates rejected the man’s proposal and voted overwhelmingly (97% to 3%) to approve the new policy. Can you hear the devil laughing?
I know this is hard. Many of us have friends and relatives who are members of ELCA churches. We like to assume that all churches teach the same thing. But that’s simply not true. It’s not true at all. The leaders of the ELCA have publically rejected Jesus as the only way to heaven. When people reject Jesus as the way to heaven, not only are they not Lutherans, but they are no longer Christians. They have lost the way. They have lost Jesus! Can you see how the leaders of the ELCA are working with the devil himself to lead people away from Jesus to hell? What a danger for people’s faith. The devil loves this!
So here’s something that I want you to never, ever forget: Jesus loves you more than anyone else ever will. He loves you to death—his own death for you on the cross. And Jesus promises you that death isn’t the end, not for him and not for you. He says, “Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19). He says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going” (John 14:1-4). Jesus is the way!
May God give you and me the courage to not only believe that, but to stand up and say that, even if we feel like we’re the only ones. Remember God’s promise? “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39). Nothing—not cancer or disease, not wealth or power, not false pastors and false teachers—can separate you from the love of Jesus. When you die, you can be absolutely sure of where you will go—heaven! Because Jesus is your Savior. Jesus is the way!